Back when I was learning to drive, I had this really obnoxious drivers ed instructor who would reach his hand out the open window and smack the roof of the car, sending you into severe shock and making you slam on the brakes. Then he’d lecture you about not paying attention to your surroundings while looking in your rear-view mirror. I know, it didn’t make sense to me either, but I “got” his next point. “It’s a balance. You have to use your mirror frequently to reference your surroundings, but you should only glance at it… not stare at it.”

There’s a reason why the rear-view mirror is only a very small portion of the size of your overall front window. It’s because you’re meant to only have your past be there for an occasional reference—only for periodic glimpses back. Your rear-view mirror does little to help you navigate the road before you.

But in life, sometimes you get sucked into having the “rear-view mirror” fill your entire forward-facing field of view. In this design, all you see was what you’ve done and where you’ve been. All the time you spend staring at your past is time you’re not spent preparing for your future and driving forward to get there. For all the time you spend staring behind you, life is passing you by. Every second your eyes are off the road ahead is another chance you will steer off course.

Past is past. It’s behind you; let it stay. Let your past stay behind you, leaving your attention and your energies free to focus on the road ahead.

When you let old things crop up in your mind, they cause you to worry, fret, doubt, and lose focus.

When you find your past is becoming your present, reach up and reset your mirror and look at the road ahead. You’ll know it when you see it—it’s the road with your Objective at the end, not the desert behind you. Live with hope and drive with confidence.